Christmas Day - Paul Durcan

9781860462887

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Title
Christmas Day
Author
Paul Durcan
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Harvill Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
19961107

For most of us Christmas is the season of huge helpings of good food, good drink, and with luck, good cheer, as the rituals of cracker-pulling, present-giving and happy or sulphurous family reunions fizzle and bang through the long afternoon.

For anyone who has ever had too much of it, or felt out of it, or wanted to be out of it, or even succeeded in being out of it then been unexpectedly rescued by a good friend, this book-length poem contains a lifeline of humour and sanity in a world run seasonally mad.

It is a funny, subversive, melancholy, self-mocking conversation between two men - Paul and Frank - in the top storey flat of a Dublin apartment block; a Stations of Christmas under the influence of "woman-hunger". Once read, Christmas Day itself will never be the same again.

The volume also contains a second new work, "A Goose in the Frost", a tribute to Seamus Heaney on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944. His first book, Endsville (1967), has been followed by more than twenty others, including The Berlin Wall Caf (a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry in 1990), Crazy About Women (1991), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), Give Me Your Hand (1994), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), The Art of Life (2004), The Laughter of Mothers (2007), Life is a Dream: 40 Years Reading Poems 1967-2007 (2009), Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being (2012), and The Days of Surprise (2015). In 2001 Paul Durcan received a Cholmondeley Award. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2004 to 2007. He was conferred with a DLitt by Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and by University College Dublin in 2011. In 2014 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Irish Book Award. He is a member of Aosdna.

[A]n intimate soul-searching, by turns painful and savagely funny
Independent - Dominic Cavendish

He is a master of minor tragedies and melancholy, self-mocking humour... It is a beautiful, poignant and wry piece of writing. The firm yet hesitant friendship between these two men is the most genuine note of goodwill you could come across in a whole month of Christmases
Independent - Maggie O'Farrel

Melancholy yet achingly funny
Observer

Like all first-class comedians, he is deadly serious
Stand - Terry Eagleton

Type
BOOK
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
96

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